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Faculty Resource Group


The University of Louisville Muhammad Ali Institute Faculty Resource Group (FRG) facilitates, engages in, and disseminates theoretical and empirically-based teaching, research and service related to social justice, peace building and violence prevention, and Muhammad Ali themes to the University, local community, nation, and the world. The group fosters viable collaboration among its members as well as with colleagues in various academic units both within and outside of the University of Louisville. The FRG is further committed to training both current and future Ali Scholars, which equips the next generation with the necessary tools to contribute to the aforementioned themes. 


As the academic and research arm of the Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of Louisville, the Ali Institute Faculty Resource Group (FRG) advances social justice, peace building and violence prevention through its empirically-based work. The FRG brings together a diverse group of scholars while taking an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to studying critical social issues and Muhammad Ali themes for the purpose of providing practical information to support social change. 

 In addition to engaging in research activities, members of the MAI Faculty Resource Group mentor the Muhammad Ali Scholars, providing expertise in their subject areas, teaching excellence in conducting research, supporting the students’ community based projects, and grooming them for graduate study and professional careers. As the Ali Scholars Program expands globally, the FRG plays a critical role in promoting collaborative research by linking with their faculty colleagues in partner universities, creating a worldwide network of dynamic academicians who work for social change. 

 The dissemination of the global faculty networks’ findings through publications and local, national and international gatherings provides an evidence-based understanding of the global nature of local issues, creates a platform for the sharing of resources, and highlights practical solutions to social challenges. Because of the work of the Muhammad Ali Institute Faculty Resource Group, practitioners - individuals, community based organizations, international NGOs, service providers, educational institutions, businesses, and governments - are better equipped to make decisions and design programs that move communities toward equitable access to resources and opportunities, non violent solutions to problems, cross cultural understanding, and the promotion of human dignity.


  • Mentor Ali Scholars
      • Equip Ali Scholars with tools to conduct research in their respective fields (with the potential of retention for graduate study)
      • Ali Scholars will assist faculty in research projects as appropriate
  • Conduct and disseminate research related to Ali Institute/Center initiatives such as:
      • SeeRedNow
      • Ali Core Values
  • Create courses related to Ali Institute/Center themes
  • As the Ali Scholars Program expands internationally, interact and collaborate with Faculty Resource Groups on partner campuses
  • Seek opportunities to write grants relevant to Ali Institute/Center themes

Ali Institute Faculty Resource Group Members


  Name                                                                Department                                                                         Interest

Jennie Burnet                                             Anthropology                                        Gender, race, ethnicity, war, genocide, post-conflict reconciliation

Barbara Burns                                      Psychological & Brain Sciences                                         Impact of violence

Nefertiti Burton                                         Theater Arts                                                                  Social Justice theater

Kevin Chapman                                  Psychological & Brain Sciences              Affective disorders in under-served families, resiliency, impact of violence exposure in families

Cate Fosl                                                   Women & Gender Studies                                           Racial Justice

Anita Harris                                             Anthropology                                                                  Identity, Museums

Muriel Harris                                          Public Health                                             Socio-cultural factors influencing health, health disparities

Joy Hart                                                   Communications                                       Health and organizational communication, sustainability

Mark Leach                                            Counseling Psychology                                                      Forgiveness

Alexis Lyras                                        Health & Sport Sciences                           Global Sport Management, Sports for Peace & Development

David Owen                                                  Philosophy                                                             Race theory, philosophy and race

Jesse Owen                                            Counseling Psychology                                                  Relationships

Tommy Parker                                              Biology                                                                   Environmental Justice

Riaan Van Zyl                                         Social Work                                                                     Evaluation

Russ Vandenbroucke                              Theater  Arts                                                            Peace studies, social justice theater   


FRG & Ali

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Faculty Resource Group members visit with Ali


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